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Tourism as an Agent of Cultural Change in Bangem, Kupemuanenguba Division

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Tourism and Hospitability Management 
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International: $20
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Tourism is recognized as an agent of social and cultural change, especially for indigenous communities. In many cases tourism has been identified both as a force of cultural enrichment and the loss of cultural integrity. Tourism is causing a lot of problems to the culture of the people Bangem.

The main objective of the study is to assess the extent to which tourism acts as an agent of cultural change in Bangem and propose measures to make the activity becomes sustainable. This study was guided by the following hypotheses:

Tourism has the capability to be a vehicle for promoting cultural awareness in Bangem and tourism ultimately contributes to the conservation of cultural heritage in Bangem.

To achieve the goals of this study, the researcher employed the use of both primary and secondary sources of data from interviews, questions, internet sources, as well as materials from published and unpublished sources, journals, Textbooks, websites and articles and analyzed using inferential and descriptive statistics techniques.

The findings reveals that the various elements that make the culture of the Bangem people are: Traditional marriage, Funeral ceremonies, Cultural attire, Traditional practices/events, Use and interpretation of cultural symbols, dance, music, dialogue, gestures, facial expressions, ritual element, costumes, folk culture like storytelling, popular beliefs and customs are culture that are been changed as a result of tourism.

These changes will result to both positive and negative impacts on the culture of Bangem people. The problems faced by the culture of the people of Bangem as answered by the respondents are discussed in the study. From the above problems, recommendations were made to the researcher.

The council should organize exhibitions, the council should sponsor cultural events, the council should organize educative programs and the locals should attend seminars organized by the council.




Tourism is recognized as an agent of social and cultural change, especially for indigenous communities. In many cases tourism has been identified both as a force of cultural enrichment and the loss of cultural integrity.

Cultural tourism which began in the late 1970s (TriarchiEi and Karamanis1970) is today gaining grown in the tourism sector. Today, many people travel not only for leisure and pleasure but gain a deeper understanding of the culture of their various destinations.

Many host communities’ trade cultural expression for benefits that tourism can provide. As cultural change has a direct link between a host culture and the tourist. It should be noted that cultural changes are linked and that a change in one affects other.

The model of change process in expressions is presented as a device that can enable someone to discover something as well as prognostic tool for cultural impact assessment (Carter and Beetoon 2004). Cultural tourism is today a pillar because it serves as a strategy for growth for many countries and local people used this as a means to boost their local culture. (Richards 1996).

Cultural tourism has recently been reaffirmed by United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as a major element of international tourism consumption, accounting for over 39% of tourism arrivals. (Richards 2003).

The impacts of tourism on indigenous people have been reported with some attempts at modeling the phenomenon. In some areas, economic and cultural benefits to the host community are identified (Carter 2008). The researcher is interested in the changes brought about because of cultural changes caused by tourism. 

Cultural change is a concept that denotes some internal and external factors leading to change in the cultural pattern of societies. It can be material and non- material in nature. Cultural change may come from many sources but most of them come through contact with other culture, inventions, internal adjustment and contact with tourists.

The evolution of cultural tourism, the consumption of cultural tourism is one of the most important aspects of tourism activity. Cultural tourism includes experiencing local culture, traditions and lifestyle, participation in arts-related activities and visits to museums, monuments and heritage sites.

Cultural tourism is one of the oldest forms of travel and continues to be a mainstay of the tourism industry in most parts of the world (Richards and Munsters 2010).

Cultural tourism is a genre of special interest tourism based on the search for and participation in new and deep cultural experiences, whether aesthetic, intellectual, emotion and psychological. Several cultural forms such as museums, galleries, festivals, architecture, historic ruins, artistic performances and heritage sites routinely draw tourists.

The liberal tourists have as their primary goal the acquisition of a broad, profound, nontechnical knowledge and understanding of cuisine, language, culture and history (Stebbins 1996).

The dynamic growth of cultural tourism can be explained by the fast growth of demand for trips to various cultural attractions and amenities. A rise in interest of tourists both to distant cultures and to the local heritage occurred through the increase of educated people around the world, also technology supported this growth.

The cultural tourist, from consumer is transforming to producer of the cultural products and experiences.

As cultural tourist become more interactive and creative, the cultural tourism needs to be repositioned (Ei and Karamanis 2017). Intangible cultural heritage is made up all immaterial manifestations of culture, represents the variety of living heritage of humanity as well as the most important cultural diversity.

The main “constitutive factors” of intangible cultural heritage are represented by the self-identification of this heritage as an essential element of the cultural identity of its creators and bearers of these communities and groups.

Hollinshed (1996) reported that heritage tourism was one of the fastest growing segments of tourism in America. Sometimes in the 1990s tourists started to discover heritage and cultural attractions. At least developers and marketing specialists began to discover culture.

Cultural change and the process of rural community commodification culture and its many dimensions is a deeply embedded aspect of tourism. Culture manifests in continually evolving societies, hence cultural change is not a new and novel concept. 

These are the impacts of cultural change, perceived social costs, environmental sustainability, and perceived economic benefit.

To determine their effects on resident perceived quality of life, the results indicate that the social cost dimension has no significant effect on resident quality of life, however both environmental sustainability and perceived economic benefit dimensions significantly affect resident quality of life.

Cultural tourism is important for various reasons, it has a positive economic and social impact is caused by the incomes by the cultural tourism business and supporting businesses. Positive for the economic and social development is that cultural tourism generates new ideas and a wish to cooperate among the local population.

Cultural tourism helps to establish and reinforce an identity; this is an essential element in preserving and enhancing national and local pride and spirit.

Cultural and heritage features are essential in building a country’s image, thus cultural tourism can be one of the key instruments in developing a positive image of a county internationally. Cultural tourism helps preserve the cultural and historic heritage.

Tourism makes an important contribution to culture and historic heritage by providing means for keeping the traditions alive and finances the protection of heritage as well as increase visitor appreciation of that heritage. Finally, cultural tourism brings extra income to culture and is thus a very important supporting factor for culture itself.

In Europe, cultural tourism has become recognized as an important agent of economic and social change in Europe. The new breeds of attractions intermediaries who supply culture specifically for tourist consumption are only because of the broad meaning of the terms culture and tourism.

There are messages and images generated and transmitted by key agents since the 1980s including the British Tourist Authority (1983) and English Tourist Board (1993). Countries of Central and Eastern Europe that have emerged from experiences of communist government have had to re-adjust to consequent shifts in tourism flows.

Cultural tourism has been seen to have particular importance not only as a new growth market but also, for political reasons as a means of producing favorable images of these countries. Tourist board representatives in tourist- generating countries are key agents in the image formation processes.

The views of such agents in the UK were ascertained to determine their perceptions of cultural tourism as part of their country’s product offer, the rationale behind the promotion of this tourism and their awareness of the consequences.

This was done by interview with representatives of several countries. It was concluded that cultural tourism was seen very positively, and it was of importance to all.

Tourist board interviewees had a particular heritage view on cultural tourism and recognized few problems associated with the use of culture for tourism purposes. As tourism increases in small, unindustrialized societies, it is increasingly important to understand its impacts and the primary process by which it produces cultural change.

Gaining insight into how tourism leads to major cultural change will assist applied anthropologists, indigenous governmental departments, and perhaps even tourism agencies themselves in minimizing the damage that touristic activities create.

In Australia, the Djabugay people live near cairns, a tourist destination in North Queensland, Australia, on land to which they “belong”, and which traditionally “belongs” to them. Their community is an equity partner in the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park that features Djabuay culture. Some community members work as employees in the Tjapukain Aboriginal Cultural Park.

The benefits of tourism identified includes revival of Djabugary culture, employment opportunities, working together with other Djabugay community members, increased cross-cultural understanding and improved material welfare. However, disadvantages such as degradation of Djabugay culture, exploitation of the

Djabugay interaction and limited material improvement for the Djabugay were also revealed. Although the Djabugay people experienced outcomes from participation in the tourist industry, the community did not appear to experience substantial economic and socio-cultural benefits

In Africa, as tourism increases in small, unindustrialized societies, it is increasingly important to understand its impacts and the primary process by which it produces cultural change.

Gaining insight into how tourism leads to major cultural changes will assist applied anthropologist, indigenous government departments, and perhaps even tourism agencies themselves in minimizing the damage that touristic activities create.

Filed work on the Yap Island and case study reviews indicate that exchange reserves, cultural preservation and education. Deleterious touristic impacts involve human displacement, subsistence disruptions, social conflict, loss of autonomy, dependency, crime and other disturbances of the host culture.

Analysis suggests that the impacts of tourism are magnified when the tourists alter their hosts’ economic base, particularly the indigenous land utilization and tenure relationships. Therefore, negative touristic impacts can be moderated in small-scale societies by keeping the activities and influences of tourists out of the domain of indigenous land relationships.

In Cameroon, cultural tourism is on the rise with awareness being created by the government, the private sector and the local communities. Cameroon is a country with cultural diversity which has for the past years hosted different types of cultural events such as the Ngondo festival, the Nyem-Nyem annual festival, the Medumba festival and many touristic attractions like the twin lakes in Kupe- Manenguba which have all contributed to cultural change.

Today people are more interested in cultural tourism in order to know the cultural heritage of the indigenous people, the reason people get involve in cultural tourism which have impacted the host communities both positively and negatively.

Bangem is a community which is also rich in cultural diversity, but the rapid growth of tourism activities has brought about changes in the culture of the Bangem people. These changes can be seen both positively and negatively. Thesechanges will be explained in-depth in this current study.


Tourism has been identified as a vital mechanism of sustainable development in rural indigenous areas (Kaowen, Chang, Chien, Cheng and Chen, 2018). Since indigenous areas have profound ethnic culture and ecological significance and sensitivity, successful tourism development must consider the perceptions of local community in order to build a mutual relationship grounded on respect, trust and feasibility to create local acceptance and support.

Increased attention is being focused on the extension from agriculture to tourism development in rural indigenous areas in order to create impacts such as economic activation, income and employment production, public infrastructure creation, culture preservation, and nature conservation (Ebin, Sneed, Morisky, Rotheram, Magnuson and Malotte, 2001).

Unfortunately, there continues to be evidences across cultural zones in the country where tourism have been well galvanized to boost cultural tourism in addition to the lack of existing research to stimulate awareness on this subject.

The negative impacts of tourism on culture as noted in Bangemare acculturation effects- When local people entertain tourists, they adapt tourists’ needs, attitudes and values and ultimately start following them.

This often happens in a less sophisticated society where, stronger culture dominates the weaker (Burns, 1999). In Pefkochori in Greece, the Western and native culture together has created a new culture, which is called the hybrid culture.

Cultural commodification results in the transformation of value from scared to profane and from real to the unauthentic (Shepherd, 2002). Also, considering an entertainment, tourist easily interferes into the host culture (McKercher, 1993).

As a result, differences are easily noticed in the usual behaviour, attitude, dress, foods, arts, songs and even social relationships of the host community in Bangem. Ultimately, some traditional cultures and societies are really facing challenges to dilute or even destroy (Sharpley, 1994).

However, culture can be affected by many other things like powerful global homogenization, the reluctant attitude of the community people and weak association among the community people and their socio-economic needs as well as the intention towards modernity (Burns, 1999).

If these challenges are not handled fast, it will bring about negative consequences to the people. Some of which are: a total loss of the culture of the Bangem people, lead to westernization, acculturation effects, cultural accommodation, a slowdown tourism activity among.

The societies and cultures are changing due to their incapability of avoiding outside influence. It is only recently that the attention of researchers has been drawn to the issues of tourism as an agent of cultural change (Silva, 2013).

Few studies have identified the positive impacts of cultural tourism in Bangem but majority of previous studies have not worked on the positive aspects of cultural tourism. These research gaps and deficiencies will be elaborated upon to address the situation in-depth.


  • What are the various cultural potentials of the Bangem people?
  • How is tourism affecting the culture of Bangem?
  • What are the problems faced by the Bangem culture in terms of tourism?
  • What strategies can be put in place to preserve the culture of the Bangem people?


1.4.1 General Objective

The general objective of this study is to assess the extent to which tourism acts as an agent of cultural change in Bangem and propose measures to make the activities become sustainable.

1.4.2 Specific Objectives

  1. To identify the various cultural potentials in Bangem.
  2. To examine the extent to which tourism affects culture in Bangem.
  3. To analyse the problems facing the culture in Bangem.
  4. To propose strategies in the conservation of Bangem people’s culture.
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